What is Interpretative Reporting in Journalism?

Interpretative Reporting:

Interpretative reporting interprets facts. Reporter tries to balance the writing with reasons and meanings of a development. Reporter provides the information along with an interpretation of its significance. He uses his knowledge and experience to offer the reader an idea of the background of an event and explain the results it could led to.

Besides his own knowledge and research, the reporter also takes the opinions of specialists to support the report.

According to Curtis D. MacDongall, author of book Interpretation Reporting, the first important inputs to interpretative reporting was provided by World War-I. When the First World War broke out, most Americans were taken by surprise. They were unable to explain its causes. This resulted in changes in the style of reporting. In 1939, when the Second World War started, an overwhelming majority of the Americans expected it or at least knew it was possible.

MacDongall says an interpretative reporter is aware of the fact that a news item is not an isolated incident, but an inevitable link to a chain of important events. An interpretative. reporter cannot succeed if he is hampered by prejudices and stereotyped attitudes, which would bias his perception of human affairs. Interpretative reporting thus goes behind the news, brings out the hidden significance.

He says a successful journalist should be more than a thoroughly trained journeyman with his reading of history, economics, sociology, political science and other academic subjects.

For Example

In July the elections to the Lok Sabha took place. In interpretative reporting, the reporter would give the reader the breakup of the results and would provide facts the composition of the House have been made.

The elections of the five states assembly were held in July. The interpretative reporter would not only convey the news of the victory of Congress party in three states, but analyses the reasons behind it and reflect on the consequences of his victory for the future of the Congress and other parties.

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